We are just days away from the start of the 2018 NFL season, which kicks off on Thursday night when the Philadelphia Eagles host the Atlanta Falcons. So with the start of the year fast approaching, here's one last look at a mock draft for your last minute fantasy football drafts.
If you've been reading mock drafts throughout the preseason, not much has changed. Most of the league's elite players have remained healthy, so all the biggest names should remain options atop your draft board unless we're alerted of a last-minute practice injury this week.
This mock draft is based on a 10 team, points-per-reception (PPR) league.
Team 1: Todd Gurley, RB, LAR
Team 2: Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT
Team 3: David Johnson, RB, ARI
Team 4: Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
Team 5: Alvin Kamara, RB, NO
Team 6: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DAL
Team 7: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU
Team 8: Saquon Barkley, RB, NYG
Team 9: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, NYG
Team 10: Kareem Hunt, RB, KC
The first round is fairly straightforward. You may disagree with the placement of a player by a slot or two, but chances are you'll see at least seven or eight of these players come off the board in some order in your draft.
It's hard to screw up these early picks but you can be faced with some tough decisions if you're picking in the 7-10 range. It's possible a run on running backs will occur early in your draft and you'll be left without one of your top targets on the board. If this happens, don't panic. There's nothing wrong with taking wide receiver with your first pick, especially as the league continues to trend in the direction of pass-happy offenses.
Team 10: Michael Thomas, WR, NO
Team 9: Leonard Fournette, RB, JAC
Team 8: Julio Jones, WR, ATL
Team 7: Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN
Team 6: Melvin Gordon, RB, LAC
Team 5: A.J. Green, WR, CIN
Team 4: Christian McCaffrey, RB, CAR
Team 3: Keenan Allen, WR, LAC
Team 2: Davante Adams, WR, GB
Team 1: Tyreek Hill, WR, KC
The best advice for the second round: don't reach for a running back. There aren't many elite running backs in the league and the pool of players you're confident in might run dry as early as the second round.
If you aren't crazy about your running back options, just wait it out. Wide receivers tend to me more predictable and slightly less injury prone, making them safer early-round selections. If you stack your roster with dominant receivers you can still build a winning team without a star running back.
If you do find yourself without a running back after the second round, however, remember to stay active on the waiver wire. When injuries occur or starters show signs of struggling, be quick to seek out potential replacements. Every year impact fantasy players appear out of nowhere during the season. If you can snag those guys, it can dramatically change the look of your roster.
Team 1: Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL
Team 2: LeSean McCoy, RB, BUF
Team 3: Jordan Howard, RB, CHI
Team 4: Mike Evans, WR, TB
Team 5: Adam Thielen, WR, MIN
Team 6: Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
Team 7: Joe Mixon, RB, CIN
Team 8: Allen Robinson, WR, CHI
Team 9: T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
Team 10: Zach Ertz, TE, PHI
The third round is where you'll see some fantasy owners start to get creative. A few owners may snag the high scoring tight ends and you may see a quarterback or two come off the board.
The best way to handle these decisions is to have a plan set ahead of time. Decide before the draft if you're willing to take Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Rodgers as early as the third round. You'll feel a lot more confident about your selections if you've made these decisions ahead of time, rather than as the clock is ticking down.
Fantasy Football Team Names
Once you're done building your team, you might need to consider a name change. If you don't have a go-to name you want to use, it's always fun to select a name based on the players on your roster.
Here are a few player-related names that might come in handy after your draft:
Le'Veon a Prayer - If you're lucky enough to land the Steelers' workhorse, this one is a strong option.
All Barkley, All Bite - Team names based on rookies are great. Everyone appreciates some new names mixed in with the annual favorites.
Hey Darnold! - Another classic name based on a rookie, but maybe better for dynasty leagues where Sam Darnold is more relevant.
Kung Suh Panda - This one might not work for everyone, but if you're in an IDP league you can work in an Ndamukong Suh reference.
Dr. Jekyll and Carlos Hyde - It's not often the Browns have a fantasy-relevant running back; now's the chance for Browns fans to take advantage and incorporate one into your team name.